Arts Awareness Monthly E-Newsletter | February 2014

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Welcome to the February 2014 edition of Arts Awareness E-Newsletter delivered to your desktop each month. If you know someone who may be interested in receiving this newsletter, please let them know how to sign up through

A New View

The display of works in the recent exhibit of John Singer Sargent watercolors at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was a delight to the eye. The basic outlines and forms are filled with transparent washes that create a sense of fluidity, joy, and connection to what he saw as he painted. As you study these paintings, you realize they represent a new way of looking and seeing. There is freedom in seeing with this level of perception and awareness.
Sargent-Villa di Marlia, Lucca A Fountain-1910 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Hayden Collection

Visual and performing artists use this kind of seeing nearly every day to experience things in new ways. In our own everyday lives, we can also use this skill to change what’s possible by changing the way we see or hear things as well. While the basic picture may not change, your entire understanding and feeling of an experience might be completely transformed depending on how you interpret the lines, light, spaces, and shadows. It can be as life changing and freeing as Sargent’s watercolors were for his time. 
You cannot depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus.
~ Mark Twain
While it’s important to understand what others see, it’s also important to see the world through your own eyes and to risk showing other people that view as well. That’s artistic expression—seeing something in a new way, solving a problem in an unexpected way, and having confidence in your perspective. Artists are responsive to the joys of seeing. They use their imaginations. Anyone can learn to see like an artist, but fixed perspectives often limit you from seeing and experiencing your world with all the possibility and potential. 

How Can You Begin to Get a New View?
  • Sargent-The Bridge of Sighs-about 1903-4 Brooklyn MuseumLook at things very closely
  • Look at things in different ways to get different perspectives
  • Look at things with your eyes, mind, ears, body, and heart 
  • Arrange things in different ways
  • See connections between different things

Most of us attribute how we see to our eyes. It’s not just putting something old in a new frame; it’s using all of our senses to see it as something that is completely different. The way we look at something can profoundly influence what we see.

Sargent-A Tramp-about 1904-6 Brooklyn MuseumPainting is a blind man’s profession. 
He never paints what he sees, but what he feels.

~ Pablo Picasso
Try a new view. Look with new eyes. If an experience is causing you to worry, don’t try to make it appear less of a worry. See your experience of the situation not as a worry at all, but as something completely different. It’s not a matter of pretending things aren’t happening the way they are; it’s instead about interpreting them in a way that allows you to see what’s possible. A new view allows you to use the skills of an artist to literally change your experience. 

Interesting—Check it out:

Even if you’re not a photographer, The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes by Andy Carr and Michael Wood can teach you how to fully connect with the visual richness of your ordinary, daily experience. The authors teach that photography is not just a mechanical process; it requires learning how to see. As you develop your ability to look and see, you will open, more and more, to the natural inspiration of your surroundings. 
How Artists See is a Monitor on Psychology article by Sadie F. Dingfelder that explores how artists can get people to enjoy their vision instead of just using it to get around.
This links to an article by Lois Holzman, A New Way of Seeing Development (Hint: We Make It Happen), from A Conceptual Revolution. The subtitle is relevant to a new view: All the world's a stage—and we create the play. The basic premise is that the world doesn’t happen to us; but rather, we grow and develop by seeing our environments in new ways, actively creating our view of the world.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Contact Dr. Patricia Hoy for media appearances, to book her to speak at your event, or to engage her workshop or consulting services—

Guest Speaking—Corporate, Education, or Arts Events—that provides motivation for launching the beginning a project, keynote theme inspiration, or setting the foundation for a goal to be achieved.

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About the Arts Awareness Newsletter:

This newsletter is meant to spark ideas and develop a deeper understanding of artistic processes and their use in leadership, everyday life, and work. Content, which comes from personal experiences and a variety of sources, is based on the Arts Awareness concepts developed by Patricia Hoy. Questions? Comments? Contact Patricia at or 901-229-1955, Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA.
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